Defining the levels of conscious parenting
I’ve been inspired and working with Dr David R Hawkins, MD, Phd’s life work (The Map of the Scale of Consciousness) for some time. I have been recently given a push to translate his work so that it can be applied in a grounded way for parents and anyone who works with children.
His scale goes from 20 to 1000, with states below 200 representing ways in which we FORCE people to do things, which results in all sorts of physical and mental illness, and states above 200 representing ways in which we EMPOWER ourselves and others in our interactions, which results in health and healing.
See where you find yourself. This is not a judgement of who is better than the other. This is just so you can see that there are levels. There is a hierarchy.
If you are open to it, please take some time to assess, where you spend most of your time as a parent, and as a person.
How do you think your actions make your kids feel? Have you ever noticed the link between these levels and your/their health, including how much you/they are able to tolerate (in life, or even just physically eating), as well as how the level we sit at can impact how well we/they perform in various situations?
Shame (20) – A child feels shame when you have made him feel that something is irreparably wrong with him at his core. He or she may “despise you” for how you made him feel, or he or she may feel “humiliated”. This is a state of true “despair”, under your judgement they may “shrink and hide”, feel “worthless”, start to “hate themselves”, “blame themselves”, and really “over-focus on themselves”.
We make children feel ashamed when we laugh at them, even if its because we think they are cute. If they are seriously just trying to express themselves and we laugh, that is shame. We shame them when we make them feel like they are disgusting for what they may have done.
Guilt (30) - The path between guilt and shame is subtle and may not be up to us as parents. Guilt is more surface, shame is deeper. The same parental comment or behaviour could trigger either, it depends how sensitive our child is!
When a child is made to feel guilty, they may “hate” you (a step slightly above “despise” which we get with Shame). These are protective mechanisms on the part of the child, they should be allowed to hate and despise when they feel attacked on this level, at least its honest.
We make our kids feel guilty when we won’t let things go and we keep tracing back to what they did that we felt was wrong. And when we don’t own our part of the reaction. There can be many reasons why a child does something. Often they are testing their limits to see where the boundary lies and if they are safe with us, even if they cross a boundary.
Apathy (50) – We make kids feel like they don’t matter when we neglect them or when we use passive/aggressive behaviour. This is where “self-pity”, “self-sabotage”, “self-harm”, “defeatism”, and “inflexibility” begins for our kids.
Grief (75) – Grief is actually a great opportunity to teach from, about letting go of attachments, and how when a door closes it allows space for a window to open. I am not sure how we make our kids feel grief. I think it just happens by circumstance and it is a process for us to allow and facilitate with the utmost love, support, and positive outlook on what will come from the loss, while at the same time honoring where they are at and how they feel, for as long as they need to feel it. Feeling fully allows the feeling to transmit whatever information the child needs to know or express from the loss.
Fear (100) – Fear limits growth. We either live in a state of fear that is paralyzing, or a state of love that is allowing, with all doors open and full acceptance of who we are, no matter what door we are trying to go through. We make our kids feel fear when we threaten them “if you don’t do X you are going to lose Y”. In our family if anything approaches a threat like this, this is a sign that the parent is at their limit and needs to be tapped out. There is no reason to ever threaten anyone. Yes, we all do it at times. But imagine doing it to an adult friend or your partner, would they accept your threat, or just look at you like you’re crazy? And if they accept it, sounds like you may be in an abusive relationship?
Desire (125) – This is where a lot of people sit. We encourage people to do things they don’t want to do because we build in them a desire for: candy, toys, money, grades, status, love etc. It is normal to have desire, but to always have your child chasing a carrot, or anyone, will only breed illness (such as working too hard to prove oneself, or to get more, and losing focus on what is really important or true for that person).
Anger (150) – This is an interesting stage. I think it is interesting because anger is NORMAL! We are supposed to feel and express anger when we feel wronged. It is protective.
To keep anger inside, like society expects, is again, to breed illness. Anger should be allowed, for the parent or the child, but channeled in a safer way. Anger is just energy that needs an outlet. I find it very interesting that parents, schools, and other adults have no problems using shame, guilt, or desire to “mold” their children (which in themselves are a disrespect to their rights and character, in my opinion), but should any parent dare show anger, they are labeled as bad. Yes, we need to take a breath and put in place more self-care, so we don’t get to a place of anger so often. But anger is WAY more honest than the lower forms of working with kids.
Pride (175) – Very similar to “desire”, but I guess this is “after” the child has caught the carrot and we boast about how great they are. A lot of people live in pride. But pride is not healthy, because that carrot you caught is still not who you are at your core. Pride has a lot of social comparison components to it. To feel pride, one often feels better than someone else. It is ok to be proud of one’s progress, even healthy, and some kids want to know their parents are proud of them for some skill they feel good at, that they want recognition for. But please don’t forget, what they really want is unconditional love and acceptance, and they are using performance and pride to get it. Why not serve them the good stuff instead – unconditional love just for the sake of who they are?
Finally we cross the 200 threshold, where health and healing are possible!
Courage (200) – is interesting, because adults often think they build courage in their kids using principles of FORCE (below 200). Like, force your child to face their fears, that will build courage. This is not true. Yes, kids want to build courage. But courage comes from within and can not be forced from the outside. True courage is being able to express one’s needs and limits, even to an adult. Not facing something that feels wrong to them. It bothers me how much we try to override how our kids tell us they feel. It is disrespectful, and it also puts them at risk for peer pressure!
Neutrality (250) – is honestly being ok with whatever our kids decide. Whether that be what they eat, when they go to bed, how often to bathe, whether to go to school, whether to take a sport, whether to quit.
Willingness (310) – takes neutrality a step further. Its almost like facilitating what your child is trying to do. When you know your child’s Human Design, Soul Contract, Gene Keys, and Astrology, it is a lot easier to identify what they are trying to do and to facilitate their growth, with willingness to allow their own unique potential to unfold.
Acceptance (350) – is probably where we go beyond what we would want for our child and honestly allow them to be themselves, even if we think something different would be better for them. I can imagine this is a hard state to sit at in our society. As parents we are “expected” to mold our children, to “prepare” them for adulthood. But acceptance of who they are, even if it is someone who you can not imagine how they will get along in society, is a higher state, and it is ok to feel conflicted about this. Sometimes we may accept and sometimes we may not. But we have to disentangle what part is ours and what is theirs. If our child wants to not go to school, for example, and we are concerned they will fall behind, we may at times accept their choice and later discover their path was better and they learned so much more from a non-traditional education route. Likewise, we may see a non-traditional education route as superior, but if our kids want to go to school, we may need to accept that. And you may be fighting all kinds of family and friend disapproval when you do this, but really what is more important, and who is the true teacher? Only you can figure that out for yourself.
Reason (400) – Oh reason, the ultimate goal of science. We think so highly of being logical and fair. This is a higher state, but we can go higher. Not everything is linear, and logical. Try love on for size. They say science will always be limited, because it does not allow for love, which defies logic. And this is why I feel the school system is sub-par. No love allowed, too much fear.
Love (500) – Here is where we finally find safety, the world is “benign”, we have no negative impact on others and they have none on us. We are all getting the experience we came for, even if its negative for a while, this is how we grow.
Joy (540) – Joy is actually “unconditional love”, loving everything, loving every moment, seeing the gift in everything, instantaneously. This can come from a true practice of understanding everyone as a beautiful work in progress, and our lives as the attendance of earth school. With no need to lash out at another, unless that is also part of our mutual growth. I don’t think a lot of people live here too often. We are in a culture where it is cooler to complain than to live in joy. But, try it some time. Joy feels a lot better than self-pity. And the key to getting there is knowing You Have A Life Plan!
Peace (600) – Bliss, illumination, true perfection, beyond Joy, we feel complete already. This is pure contentment with what is, whatever that is may be.
Enlightenment (700-1000) – I’ll be honest, few get here. I don’t even know how to describe it, other than to say its about knowing all is perfect and being able to facilitate others in that understanding. Dropping our human-ness, not because it was wrong to have it, but because we have worked through our lessons completely that there is honestly no reaction. In the lower states we suppress our reactions, in the higher states there is no need to suppress because the reaction is simply not present.
I know I left off how to parent in the higher states, because I think that is a personal journey that we all get to, when we get to it.
The more we detach from our desires for who are kids should be, the more we support who they are (and who we are), the more we allow the lessons to come, the growth to unfold, the feelings to move through us, the more we can reach the higher states, and the longer we can embody them.
The purpose for my writing this article will become evident, shortly, I hope. My birthday wish from my husband will hopefully be delivered on time, so that I can deliver it to you.
Remember, none of us are wrong for wherever we are presently at. But, it is good to know the ladder goes higher and we can climb, if we choose to!
And if all of the above is not enough to convince you of why it is important to shift the way we raise our kids, to using higher principles on the Scale of Consciousness, take a look at this table:
What category would you like your kids to sit in when they grow up?
Love and Bless, Strong Family!
Family Dynamics and Life Purpose Specialist
MSc Psychology (Stress & Health)